Countdown Thanks

I’d just like to thank all members who turned out to marshal on the Countdown this year. Top job by you all most of you doing multiple controls so we could cover the 38 time controls, 2 DSO controls & 4 passage controls. There has been a lot of praise for the marshals from the competitors so “Well Done” & hope to see you all next year?

In the mean time the Roger Albert Clark rally have asked the club to run two stages on Sunday 10th November and the Service area on the Saturday Night. If your available for either please get intouch, I’d like your help.

Kind Regards

Barry Lindsay


12 Car Results (December 2012)

1s t        1st Novice       Phil & Caroline Jobson                          0f 1min

2nd      2nd Novice      Nigel Harkness / Helen Gibbon          0f 9min

=  1st Expert    Johnny Brass / Tom Wilcox                 0f 9min

4th     2nd Expert     Barrie Thomson / Jerry Hettrick        1f 5min

5th      3rd Expert      Paul Schatz / Richard Todd                1f 15min

OTL     Novice      Jonathan Fowler / Stuart Hamilton   0f 42min

RTD     Novice       Neil Varah / Todd Brown            TC5

RTD     Expert       Eric Ritchie / John Ross               TC4


The Countdown Rally – My Report

By David Love

What can I tell you about my involvement in this year’s Countdown? Absolutely nothing!

For some strange reason I thought the Countdown was on the 1st of September so I arranged to be on holiday after that. So for the first time in many years I wasn’t standing out in the middle of nowhere thinking I was in the wrong location as headlights head towards me then turn away only to reappear in 5 minutes. It’s quite scary standing in the dark watching a faint glow bobbing up and down from side to side getting closer only to discover, with relief, it’s only some drunk with a head torch heading home from the pub.

I didn’t totally forsake Motorsport on the day of the rally I just switched to a different type.  Many of our older readers will be familiar with the name of Carroll Shelby, he of the Cobra fame and winner of the 1959 Le Mans with Roy Salvadori in an Aston Martin DBR1. His company Shelby American has a small museum that has a daily tour so I decided we should go. Especially as it was free. I didn’t really know much about him other than the Cobra connection but I knew there were cars in the museum so that was good enough for me. I thought that there would be half a dozen or so people for the tour but there were over 30 there. Shelby was a Texan who loved to race but it was discovered he had heart problems and had to give up racing, so he turned his hand to preparation. In the early 60’s he had the idea that a V8 in a lightweight sports car was the way to go and he chose the AC Cobra. As he had contacts in Ford he went to see the CEO Lee Iacocca and persuaded him to part with some engines and money to develop the car so they could “beat the crap out of those Corvettes”.  Shelby still owns the original show Cobra, which was on display. Several years ago he turned down an offer of $23,000,000 for it, guess he can’t have been short of a bob or two! When it was new he kept respraying it different colours to make people think he had several cars. There were six Cobras of varying ages on display; one was unpainted with a polished aluminium body and worth around $2,000,000. Continue reading

12 Car November 8th

The next 12 car will be November 8th, due to lack of entries in the past, one of the aims of this event is to judge interest amongst club members.

So if you wish to see more 12 cars run in the future please support this event.

Details next month but reserve the 8th November NOW.

Details from Barry Lindsay

Countdown Marshals

By Barry Lindsay

A very big thankyou to everyone who turned out to marshal on our Countdown Navigation Rally. This year we had 50 signed on marshals covering the 36 time controls, passage controls and Driving standards.

Thank you all once again and please put September 14/15th in your 2013 Diary’s.

Countdown Rally 2012

By John Ross, Clerk of Course

I would like to express my thanks to all members who assisted in the organisation and marshalling of the Countdown this year. Whilst I know my name is at the top of the organisers list as Clerk of the Course, the event would not have got anywhere near the starting blocks without the able assistance of my fellow sub-committee members, Phil, Barry, Ian, Jerry and  Mark. Together with Richard Thomson(PR & Timing) Richard Clark & James McWhir (scrutineering) David Robinson (petrol at the Sands Garage) Mike (Noise Check) Helen (photography)Barry Thompson/Barry Lindsay (Opening Car), Mike Lindsay/ Geoffrey Harkness(Closing Car)Dave Love & George Rutherford(PR) and all the marshals who were signed-on, on the night. Without any one of you there would have been a gaping hole in the organisation of this event. If I have missed out anybody that deserves personal thanks may I apologise now. Finally a big thank you goes to the Private Landowners over who’s ground the event ran over. Without which I know the competitors would not have had so much fun.

We have received several e-mails and personal thanks from the competitors who all appeared to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves. To the few who failed to stay within OTL at MC12 I offer my apologises, it was my intention that you would have made it to the end of the event and not failed to reach the end of the first section. Hopefully you will come back for more next year and with luck and a bit of rethinking we will get everybody to the finish.

As for next year I have been asked if I am prepared to put my neck on the block again (somewhere I heard myself agree to this). So with that in mind I have already had the pencil scratching lines over Maps 85 & 86 (other maps may be available)

Here’s looking forward to a successful Countdown 2013.

Spadeadam April 12 Car

By Dan Haynes

So this was it. Three weeks prior I had responded to a text that Jerry Hettrick sent saying ‘Yeah, put me down for that!’

Normally a formality for us, but on this occasion my chosen chariot was sat on my parent’s drive where it had been abandoned when our attempt at February’s EVMC 12 car resulted in a broken CV joint calamity.

To cut a long story short, the Ibiza was fixed and finished with camber set up and everything by 19:05 on the night of the event. Now to some of you this may seem a little last minute, however I can assure all that by Haynes/Johnson standards this was unbelievably organise, so much so I was able to road test the car, return home and double check the wheel nuts were nipped up tight. Herein lay my downfall; one…tight, two…tight, three…crack – oops I’ve broken it. So with three tight studs and half stud in the hub I set off to pick up my faithful Navigator. Fortunately, once at Pete’s we got the car jacked up, wheel off and stud extracted with enough time to get to Gretna for the start, just.

The event started at 20:15, which was slightly delayed due to it being pretty light at 20:00. This gave us plenty time to make certain that the crew borrowing my spare map got the old one. The lent map didn’t show the support road alongside the M6 extension, which unfortunately was used in the first section.

We got to TC1 clean, which was a direct run from Gretna to the West side of Floriston Crossing. From there it was a short blast round Rockcliffe Cross/Castletown area where my local knowledge didn’t help and we ended up missing a side road and adding about ¾ mile to what was a relatively short section. So TC2 and 1 minute dropped.

From there we ran up towards Westlinton, and used the crisscross of roads between the Motorway and A7 until eventually crossing the A7 and coming into the TC between Alstonby and Westlinton. From there we ran back towards Rockcliffe and Cargo via Cringledyke. Then on to the biggest NAM we have ever done, about 5 miles & consisting of three roundabouts on the new Northern Bypass. We messed about a bit here as we were uncertain as to which way along the bypass we should have been heading. We knew the finish was at Smithfield and we were going there after the next section, but the instructions seemed to be taking us too far away from the finish location. Anyway, having turned round, stopped, ummed, aahhed we made an educated guess and got it right, getting into the time control 2 mins late.

We then blasted round Bousted hill, Little Orton, the old airfield with the finish being on our way into Carlisle. The roads had been slippery all night with patches of standing water but this last section really took the prize for the number of times a puddle, pothole or muddy section tried to drown, damage or disorientate car and team. However, we managed to maintain a reasonable pace and despite Pete repeating, ‘I’m only a junction ahead’, there were no further major navigational errors made. This got us to the finish on our minute and left us with grins on both sides of the car.

So, well done to all marshals and event organisers, it was a 12 car to be proud of. Really enjoyable route, instructions that were simple yet took enough thought to make them interesting. The only negative is that it would have been good to see a few more entries, as the event certainly deserved it!

March 12 Car Report

By Paul Allen

Crews met up at Westlinton layby on the A7 for the March 12 car organised by Barry Lindsay. It was a cold, windy night with the threat of showers but the roads were mostly dry. The first expert clue looked like a list of 3 directions, but it was actually 9 craftily grouped together and they were giving us the direction that we were to depart grid squares. The route took us up around the 1542 battle ground, across the A7 and to 1 mile east of Longtown. TC2 to TC3 was a 4 min section using clock directions which did in fact take 4 mins due to the narrow and twisty lanes used. Continue reading

February 12 Car Report & Results

By Barry Lindsay

The February 12 car was organised by Richard Todd and started from the car park at the top of Caldbeck. Five crews set out and four of which set off from the start in the wrong direction not spotting that the actual start ref was the crossroads 100m away! The route then looped south round Branthwaite, Longlands and Bassenthwaite before heading north to Uldale, Sandale then Boltongate. A real narrow country road which deteriorated to grass in the middle! Then up to a control near Westward. Another rough road through Reathwaite which even had a wagon parked up delivering at a farm. All the crews went passed it down the farm yard. Not sure where we went next (I am a driver and don’t have the map!) but we were round by Wiggonby, Thursby roundabout, Baldwinholme and back to the finish in Dalston. Brilliant route on some of the narrowest roads and good instructions.

Thanks to Richard and his marshals for an entertaining evening, and to Neil for navigating.


1st 1st Exp   Tom Wilcox & Paul Allen                    2 F      3min

2nd 2nd Exp   Barry Lindsay & Neil Thomlinson     2 F     4min

3rd 1st Nov   Chris Thornton & Chris Ware            2 F     10min

4th 2nd Nov   Chris Walker & Joe Walker                3 F     4min

5th 3rd Nov   Henry Lowthian & Dave Taylor         3 F     35min

February 12 car – Little Brown Jug

By Paul Allen

5 or so crews gathered at the Windy Hill car park under the shadow of the Caldbeck Mast. The first section should have included a quick loop down to Ratten Row and back along a narrow yellow, but the start ref was interpreted incorrectly by many crews. Further down the fell, Toddy had put out some code boards facing the wrong way, just to cause added confusion and mayhem. After visiting the outskirts of Caldbeck, the route took the fell road through Fell Side and Branthwaite before arriving at TC1.

The second section continued along the fell through Longlands and south westerly to Bassenthwaite where we turned north and headed back up to Uldale and a very rough road heading up to Aughertree and TC2. There were certainly plenty of codeboards out and about and the route info was interesting enough to keep us sharp.

Back onto map 85 now via Boltongate and there appeared to be a massive white Renault artic parked in the middle of the road, but there was room to go round it as it turned out. Toddy was at TC3 near Westward with his timewarp clock, issueing some instructions that led us on a very tricky to plot route. The next 5 miles were pretty rough with loose gravel, potholes and puddles, the yellow roads were more like whites and I think a hard bash through one pothole had blebbed a front tyre as Tom noticed we now had a bad wobble making the car shake. TC4 was just west of Wigton and Tom was out of the car checking all the wheel nuts were tight before we moved off.

After only 3 or 4 miles the bad news came across the car that we had a flat, front left, so we found a suitable stopping point and jumped out to perform the well practised wheel change routine… Coincidentally this was the northern most that the evenings route took us. We rolled into the penultimate control a couple of minutes late and received a herring bone as the final clue. This took us along yet more narrow and twisty back lanes to the finish at Bridge End Dalston. An interesting event by Toddy and a good range of results across the board. Thanks to Richard and all the marshals